Light.

I’m going to start this post off in a photographic perspective, as photography is all about light.

According to the Sunny 16 rule, the optimal shutter speed on a bright sunny day will be the reciprocal of the ISO if the aperture is held at f/16. As I use ISO 200 for most outdoor bright sunny day shots, the shutter speed would be 1/200 seconds at f/16.

From personal experience, the optimal shutter speed in an average incandescent bulb-lit room, with no outside light source, is about 1/25 sec at 1600 ISO and f/5.6 aperture (give or take).

These are purely rough estimates and of course would vary slightly based on location, etc, but that’s beside the point. Let’s take a look at how drastic of a contrast these two lighting conditions are.

The difference between 200 and 1600 ISO is +3 stops. From 1/200 to 1/25 shutter speed, +3 stops. From f/16 to f/5.6, +3 stops. This gives a total of +9 stops of brightness between the average sunny day and the average room lit with average-intensity incandescent light. Translated into layman terms, that’s 512 times brighter (a stop is a doubling of brightness).

512 times brighter. Think about that for a second.

(Edit: Now that I come to think of it, the average shutter speed for an incandescent light bulb lit room is more like 1/10 sec or so. That’s a +/- 10 stop differential… 1024 times.)

Now think about how much incandescent power it takes to light a room to “decent” levels (which is still probably at least half a stop away from what I’m referring to). Then think about how little of the sun’s energy from 93 million miles away actually reaches any given location on Earth.

This enormous discrepancy can be accounted for on many levels. First off, energy sources. The Sun is fueled by fusion reactions inside its core, which release, well, a lot of energy, a good portion of it light energy. Light in light bulbs, on the other hand, is “created” when internal resistance and the associated heat energize electrons to their excited state in the bulb’s filament. These electrons then fall back to their ground state, releasing light energy while doing so. Secondly, the Sun’s energy efficiency is much greater. In fact, according to Wikipedia light bulbs “emit only around 10% of their energy as visible light and the remainder as infrared [radiation]”.

In summary, sun = win; light bulbs = fail.

Just some food for thought…

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Me is a Football Expert

And who knew that it would come after only half a year of closely watching football (I’ve watched football before but I have never really closely watched it)?

Let’s face it… kicker issues + defense worn down after 3 quarters + Jets defense = Chargers doom. Congrats to the other three top seeds in the NFL… they deserved to win. The matchup here clearly favored the Jets and they won. The better team won.

I don’t know now who to root for in the following weeks, but it would be quite something if a rookie quarterback got into the Super Bowl. Would also be funny if Manning was denied a Super Bowl yet again.

It’s really too bad that San Diego has to face sports teams achieving mediocrity year after year, but such is life.

Now for whats more important… bring on the RAINNNN!!!!

A Rantacious Saturday Morning

Believe it or not, this is probably the first non-philosophical post that I have made. So right now my mind is occupied by three things:

1) “Her” (I won’t be talking about this in my post)

2) Next week’s storms

3) Chargers/Jets, and football in general

Personally, I love rain. And normally, I’d be having an orgasm over next week’s setup. Across CA, both Euro and the GFS forecast 4-7″ of rain in the lowlands, a foot of rain in the lower mountain elevations, and yards of snow in the higher mountain elevations. The problem is, for the second time this year, SoCal seems to be getting more rain while I’m up at Norcal. Don’t call me a whiner. I’ve been dying for a good rainy season since the epic 2004-05 season. Unfortunately my time just ran out. 😦

Normally though not even that would completely piss me off. After all, aren’t models forecasting fairly even amounts from Northern to Southern CA? Well, it turns out the biggest system for Norcal will be the first (if the Euro is correct) – on Sunday, a day before I leave for Norcal. So if the Euro is right (and it usually is), the biggest rains for Norcal will be when I’m still in SoCal, while the biggest rains for SoCal will be when I’m back at Norcal.

I’m just glad to get rain, of course. But if the Euro continues its trend of a deep, amplified closed low over the EPAC, San Diego and the Baja will truly receive epic subtropical rains while Norcal is shafted with cold, dreary weather right under the low center. GFS is more merciful, and shows system after system pounding the entire state. Fun stuff.

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My next concern: the Chargers. If only… if only… the Patriots had defeated the Ravens. Then the Colts would have to face the Jets. I hate the Jets. They are a very dangerous team. They are motivated, they have momentum, and they match up with the pass-happy 1st/2nd seeds (the Colts and Chargers, respectively). They have a #1 rated D, a strong secondary, and Darelle Revis that are able to neutralize a strong passing attack. Their run D is suspect but our run offense is nonexistent! Meanwhile their run offense is incredibly strong. They will wear any defense down.

Which is why they have the possibility of defeating a top ranked seed. They are very unlucky to not play the Colts. The Colts are even more passing-centered than the Chargers are. The Chargers have an impressive screen play to counter the Jets’ blitz. The Colts, who haven’t played a legitimate game for over a month, are even more rusty than the Chargers. The message is clear: I would favor the Jets to win if they were playing the Colts. Even so, the Chargers are organized very similarly, and the game will be close. I am concerned about a repeat from a few years ago, also a Jets-Chargers game, when the underdog Jets defeated the Chargers in an overtime field goal. Nate Kaeding had a chance to win it, but choked. That was one of the most painful football games I’ve had to watch (up there with the Steeler’s win over the Chargers in the AFC divisional game last year and USC’s blowout of Cal this season).

I wish the Chargers could play any other playoff opponent this week. We wouldn’t play the Colts, but if we did, the Colts are rusty from too much rest. They lack momentum and cohesiveness, especially after the Painter decision a 3 weeks ago. The Ravens showed no offense last week outside of the Ray Rice (?) 84-yd run, and only won because the Patriots defeated themselves and Brady choked. Patriots are weak this year; the loss of Welker and Brady’s finger injury don’t help. Their last-minute loss to the Texans revealed some key weaknesses in their defense. Finally, the Chargers had already defeated the Bengals. Ochocinco is the only main deep threat in their offense. Bengals have not had momentum either going into the playoffs with a humiliating 37-0 loss against the Jets.

But alas, none of that matters this week. The Jets weakness is that they defeat themselves with turnovers and interceptions from a rookie quarterback. Exploit that. Put them in pressure situations, get an early lead so they will be forced to pass, and all will be well.

With all that said, peace out~

A Common Denominator

Today on AIM, I did what I have always done: apply my philosophies/actions to others, assuming that others hold these same basic “things”. Right after that I started questioning if I was correct. But I’m very tired and being very ambiguous. Let me start from Square 1.

In arithmetic, two fractions can be combined (added) if their common denominators are equal. Similarly, I believe that human beings have to have a common thread, a common denominator, to mingle. Assuming that Pastor Ed is correct and that we are naturally social creatures, we as humanity must hold a common denominator. Otherwise, we would not be a social species, and isolation wouldn’t be so painful. The question is, what is that common denominator?

C.S. Lewis argues in his book Mere Christianity that we have a Law of Human Nature that we all inherently hold and know.  I agree there is a Law of Human Nature, and that we are not Locke-esque blank slates. But as I have hinted on before, my belief is that Human Reason is what gives birth to this Law. Our Reason tells us cheating is bad; our Instinct convinces us that we must get a good grade for our [in my case, Asian] parents. Our Reason tells us to save that complete stranger in the burning car; our instinct only knows self-preservation. In a disaster situation, our Reason tells us to not loot; our Instinct propels us to take something wide open for the taking. The more desperate we are, the more emotion begins to influence us, the more Instinct sounds lucrative and the less Reason sounds advantageous.

So there’s one common denominator. Reason and Instinct: the Law of Human Nature vs. the Law of Self-Preservation. But let’s look even deeper. What makes us want to preserve ourselves?

Fear. Fear of pain. What else could almost all human history be driven by?

I realized this about a month ago during the latest Gracepoint baptism. Testimony after testimony, delivered from the heart; tear-filled, horrific stories about an old self, instinctive impulses gone awry. In some ways, as our Instinct was born to prevent pain, Reason may also be attempting to guide us away from pain. Reason attempts to provide an alternative that, whether through Karma or the Golden Rule, or through long-term outcome, appears to be more pleasant. So really, our common denominator is not just simply our Reason or Instinct. It is Pain. We all are deeply, deeply afraid of it. And we all have it.

Through this existence and fear of pain, humanity bonds. Existentialism was borne out of the pains of feeling meaningless. Modern pop music exploits the deepest pains of our deepest emotions. Diaries and blogs and books and writing and art and photography arise out of people who want to vent their pains, or lack thereof, through a different venue. The Romantics sought a much-needed nature-centered escape from social upheavels, while the Realists connected with viewers through those same pains; conflict in novels and films entice us through portrayals of conflict and pain that are eventually dispelled. Friendships grow closer when hearts are spilled out, when chem labs are incomplete at 6 AM, when a group of stranded, starving people in the Andes resort to cannibalism. Tensions are let go when an earthquake kills 30,000 in Bam, or 100,000+ in Port-au-Prince.

And tonight I argued that, since I wrote most philosophically when I was most in painful emotion, so that the person I was talking to should also write most philosophically when she was in pain. Our common denominator.

(But clearly I have proved myself wrong tonight as I feel perfectly neutral. Or maybe it’s not just writing philosophically, but also writing good. Which, I have failed in tonight. Nevertheless, I had reasoned to write this post long ago, but my instinct told me to do it now.)